Prescott Council appeals fallen hotshot's benefits decision

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- One day after the anniversary of the Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy, the Prescott City Council has voted to appeal a recent decision to grant full benefits to the family of hotshot Andrew Ashcraft.

“I’m disappointed that the city council decided to appeal a decision made by a board they they appoint,” Juliann Ashcraft told 3TV following Tuesday’s council meeting.

In May, the City’s Public Safety Retirement System Board decided to grant full retirement benefits to Ashcraft’s family.

His family’s fight over benefits has spanned the better part of the past year, stemming from his employment classification with the City of Prescott. Juliann Ashcraft has maintained her husband worked full-time hours and was exposed to the full hazards of his job, therefore deserved full benefits.

“This issue that I thought could be behind us, and the kids and I could move forward is still very much active and lingering,” said Ashcraft. “(But) Like I said, I feel confident. I have the truth on my side; I have 10 angels watching the case to make sure it goes well.

3TV didn’t receive a response from the City of Prescott by deadline, but according to what was stated in the council meeting, council members expressed they did not have confidence that the Board was able to make an informed decision.

The city attorney is expected to file a notice of appeal in Yavapai County Superior Court Wednesday.

Juliann Ashcraft says while she feels drained and exhausted by the ongoing battle, she will not stop until it’s resolved.

“If we can carry this fight a little further, and it goes to the Superior Court level and they rule on it, then maybe that will issue changes for the other hotshots and first responders in Prescott. I think there are others they (the city) may have misclassified. Perhaps, when we’re successful at the Superior Court level, charges will happen for more than just Andrew that could bless the hot shot community as a whole”